Choosing Henley(10)

By: Anne Jolin

Beth finishes paying before turning around to look at me. “My last victim.” She giggles, grabbing me by the hand and dragging me out of the store.

We shop for almost another hour, each of us buying a few things here and there that are on sale, but still no dress for me. It’s not even that I’m overly picky or anything, but as Beth would say, I just haven’t found anything that ‘spoke to me’ yet. I’m about to give up and decide to wear something I already have when Beth abruptly grinds to a halt, causing me to crash into her back.

“What the hell, Beth?” I say, picking up the bag I dropped during our collision.

“That’s it,” she declares pointing into a store window. “Holy fucking hell. That’s it.”

I turn to see what she’s so damn excited about, and when my eyes land on it, I grin. Beth might be a little much, but the girl can shop and she’s hardly ever wrong. Sitting on a mannequin in the store window is the dress—my dress.

We all follow Beth into the store. Then she grabs the dress in my size and hands it to me. Oh yes. I wasn’t joking about her being a shopping queen. She knows all of our sizes, including shoes and rings. If you can get past the controlling, creepy aspect of it, it’s actually quite impressive.

I take the dress from her and step into the change room.

“Do you need help?” Beth asks from the other side of the door. So impatient.

I finish doing up the last clip before opening the change room door.

“Fuck me. I’m good!” Beth squeals and claps her hands together.

I roll my eyes at her and turn towards the mirror. Well, fuck me. She’s right. She is good.

The dress is silver studded around the sweetheart neckline, and it makes my full breasts look amazing. The soft, white fabric flows out from underneath and stops barely at mid-thigh. On the backside, a small, silver band runs across my back almost like a bra strap, and the rest of my back is exposed. I’m staring at myself when Beth comes running back into the changing area. I didn’t even notice she was gone.

“Put these on,” she says, shoving a pair of silver-studded pumps in my face.

I don’t have to ask to know they are my size, so I slip them on.

“You look amazing!” Peyton gasps from her spot on the couch.

“I’m glad I’m not single,” Han says, fanning herself. “I would not want to compete with all that.” She waves her hands up and down towards me, blowing out a whistle.

“This is it, Len. This is totally fucking it,” Beth says, and I meet her eyes in the mirror.

“Totally fucking it,” I repeat, giving her a grin.

As we make our way back to the car, Hannah and I both stop and turn around to face Beth. “You’ve outdone yourself again, our little shopping queen,” I say, giving her a mock bow. “It might feel like torture, but you always get the job done,” Hannah agrees. When we laugh, she flips us the bird.

“Yeah. Yeah. Yuck it up, buttheads,” she says, arching a blond eyebrow at us. “You’ll be thanking me when you’re the hottest skanks in Bill’s.” We all burst out laughing. “Now get in the car, losers. I’m done shopping.”

“Well I’ll be damned.” Hannah laughs.

“I think Hell just froze over,” I quip.

We climb into the car to head back home. Today was awesome. I feel lighter than I have in days, but still, somewhere in the back of my mind, I find myself wondering what Jami will think of my dress.

IT’S THE EVENING of New Year’s Eve and all the girls are getting ready together. Greyson dropped Hannah off an hour ago before going to meet the guys for dinner. We ordered in pizza—Lots of carbs to soak up the alcohol—and are slowly taking our time primping. The living room looks like a bomb went off. There are clothes, makeup, hair products ,and mirrors everywhere. We only have one bathroom, which means that when there are this many girls, we get ready everywhere.

I did Peyton’s hair before the girls came over. We curled it and pulled it up off her neck in a low, loose bun. It looks lovely on her. Peyton curled Hannah’s long, auburn hair and then braided it off to one side. I am just wrapping up flat-ironing Beth’s hair, and then I need to do my own. I always go last because if anyone needs to be rushed, I’d rather it be me than my girls.

A couple of hours later, we are looking hot to trot. As expected, I ran short on time and simply curled my hair loosely down my back. I have on black mascara that accentuates my already long lashes and red lipstick.

I join the girls in the living room to gossip until we hear a truck rumble out front.

“Greyson’s here. Get your shit!” Hannah yells before heading out the front door. Always the eager beaver.

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